January 25, 2024
Roger Grambo was born in August 1934 in Cathlamet, and transitioned Friday night, Jan. 12, 2024.
Roger had three incredible brothers, he being the eldest. The family moved to Kelso in 1946 where his father, Bob, could get more work. He built his first car at the age of 15 (a combo of a few here-and-there cars he called a “‘41 Fordster”). He graduated in 1952 from Kelso High, then on to LCC for two years but was drafted into the army in 1954 and stationed in Germany for 2-and-a-half years. While in the Army, he talked his way into being allowed to purchase his own car, a VW Bug. When on leave—any kind of leave, even if it was a few hours or a week – he and buddies would hop in the VW and be gone. Paris was one of his favorites. It was on one of the Paris runs that he found himself as a stand-in on the set of “Kings Go Forth,” starring Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, and Natalie Wood. Relieved from the service in 1956, he went back to school, this time the University of Washington, where he received his bachelor’s degree, and where he also discovered a love for the water as a member of the famous Husky rowing team (think “Boys In the Boat”).
Once out of college, he met his first wife, Elaine, and between the two of them they had five children.
Roger was a very creative, driven and motivated worker with his sights on the horizon. In younger days, if he wanted to go skiing, he and his uncle Dick would strap skies onto their backs and hike Mount St. Helens. On a good day they would get three or four runs in. Once he heard of a crashed plane on Helen and with a little help from friends, managed to get the plane off the Mountain, whereupon he rebuilt it and, bingo, now he had a plane.
Work was a constant with him. Whether it was building houses, apartments, or owning and running an asphalt company – that was Rog.
Sometimes marriages do not last forever, and in the mid 70s he and Elaine parted. His life was in flux for a time until his father came to him and mentioned he might want to get a plan and start moving forward again. While sitting in a dental office lobby reading a Sunset Magazine, he read an ad “Learn to sail in seven days in Hawaii.” It sounded fine and dandy, but he didn’t have a boat! He signed up anyway, went, fell in love with sailing, came home, and in nine months, he and an amazing band of friends built a Columbia 50 sloop—the “Hippa Hulla II”— a real beauty! She was launched at the Port of Longview with the help of family and lots of great friends.
Sailing came natural to him, same as skiing and flying. That good solid Norwegian blood! Soon the journey was on: Hawaii and onward.
The maiden voyage was down the coast with friends and a reliable navigator to San Diego.
Did I say reliable? Well, one day they were plotted in Montana. His major crossing, leaving port in November, was just as exciting: they sailed directly into a Pacific Ocean Hurricane, but after a few days popped out the other side and onward to Oahu without too much more of a hitch. Here he met his present wife and companion of 43 years, Terry, while looking for additional crew and a cook. An off and on sailing spree, totaling 3 years and reaching almost to New Zealand via Tonga and the Samoas, marking enough nautical miles to add up to sailing halfway around the world, the Hulla came home to the Longview Yacht Club.
Back on the mainland, Roger yacht raced with the local clubs, build apartment complexes, houses, and was always putting together a car or two or three.
You will forever to be missed.
Love, Family & Friends
He always wanted a tale. Now he has one!
- Paid Obituary -